Women of color (WOC) have proven vital to American politics and political movements. However, the political power of WOC is both understudied in scholarly research and underinvested in by philanthropic institutions. Frontline conducted research on the forces that propel and repel WOC in the political arena, including pathways, barriers, strategies, and resources. We sought out a diverse group of women to ensure a “wraparound perspective” of the women who make up our political system, conducting interviews with a racially, ethnically, and geographically diverse group of 30 WOC who serve as candidates, campaign managers, 501c3 and 501c4 leaders, community-based organizers, and scholars. Our report “Democracy’s Powerbrokers: The Political Power of Women of Color” details the ways that the philanthropic sector can invest in democracy’s most vital participants.
Our project was the foreshadowing to what we saw in Georgia and Arizona. We saw the importance of investing in the political power of women of color on a national stage. The report details clear action steps for anyone to get in FORMATION and support the women who continue to hold up our democracy.
We have been called “fortune tellers” – this report is unapologetic in lifting up the genius of WOC and the barriers that we put in their way. We also offered clear and actionable steps to remove those barriers and really propel WOC into their rightful place as our nation’s political leaders and strategists.